This time of the year, basil is abundant. It’s a good thing too, since it’s delicious in all kinds of summer dishes. It’s just the hit of fresh herby flavor you need!

Here are half a dozen easy ways to use bunches of fresh basil:

  • Caprese Bites: The perfect no-fuss summer snack/appetizer for porch, picnic, or poolside.
  • Compound Butter: Put it on everything from pasta and bread to veggies and grilled meats.
  • Cocktails & Mocktails: Adding basil makes ordinary drinks taste like summer in a glass.
  • Marinade: Use it with any kind of meat for great grilling flavor.
  • Classic Pesto: This classic makes for the easiest pasta supper ever, but it’s also good on everything else.
  • Vinaigrette: Dip bread in it, drizzle it on meats & veggies, brush it on fish, or dress a salad.

Basil Vinaigrette

from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tightly-packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • (optional) 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.  If the vinaigrette is too thick, feel free to add in a few tablespoons of water a time and blend until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
  2. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

With these easy basil recipes, you’ll have fresh summer food at your fingertips all summer long.